Every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds a nationwide competition between buildings to help governments and organizations save energy, save water and fight climate change with help from EPA’s ENERGY STAR and WaterSense programs.
As part of the 2015 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition, Manatee County, Fla. reduced its energy usage by 7.3 percent saving approximately $34,600 over the course of the year. As one of the top energy reduction teams, they were able to achieve these dramatic decreases by driving staff to cut energy waste during the workday and by prioritizing efficiency investments within their building portfolio.
EPA recently opened registration for its 2016 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: BOOTCAMP. This year’s Battle of the Buildings is a chance for organizations across the country to transform their buildings in 90 days from September through November, when buildings typically achieve their highest percentage of energy reductions, as reported via the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.
Participating in the competition paves the way to improved energy and water management. It can help your county to become ENERGY STAR-certified, prioritize investments within a portfolio of facilities, compare county buildings’ energy and water usage against similarly sized buildings across the nation, and more.
Counties can register up to five buildings per team to compete on energy only or energy and water at http://www.energystar.gov/battleofthebuildings. There you can also learn more details about the competition including key energy management resources EPA will provide throughout the competition, such as a hostable, interactive map that shows the service territories of the utilities providing energy data to customers for benchmarking. Registration is open through July 17.
Diana Linville, energy manager for Manatee County, said she “couldn’t have been more delighted with the outcome of the county’s competition results.” She recommends that interested counties look at what can be done, starting with the simple things — changing the wattage and heat load on the lights that are used, installing automatic controls that turn lights off and reduce temperatures in the evening when the buildings are not in use.
The main thing she reiterates, however, is the “importance of educating county employees and citizens on energy efficiency and letting them know what they can do that really will make an impact.”
Contact Brendan Hall at email@example.com with any questions or if you would like to host a localized version of the competition in your county.